Teachers and older pupils are to be routinely tested for coronavirus twice a week, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

Anyone working in schools and childcare will receive the twice-weekly tests in a bid to prevent further transmission of coronavirus. 

Addressing MSPs in Holyrood, the First Minister announced a phased return to schools which would be supported by an expansion of the testing regime.

READ MORE: Covid Scotland: Phased return announced for schools while lockdown is extended

She said: “It is our intention that those who work in schools, and in early learning and childcare settings attached to schools, will be offered at-home testing twice a week. All senior-phase secondary school students will be offered this too.

“This testing offer will be in place for schools as soon as possible to support their return, and we will extend it to the wider childcare sector in the weeks after that.

“We are determined to get our children back to normal schooling just as quickly as it is safe to do so. It is our overriding priority.”

READ MORE: Covid Scotland: Younger pupils being recommended to return to school first

A phased return for pupils is expected to start after the February break, with those in primary one to three to return full-time while senior pupils will return part-time. 

It comes as the current lockdown was extended until the end of this month. The First Minister is expected to announce further details of the current restrictions in two weeks' time. 

Sadly, a further 69 coronavirus-related deaths were registered overnight as 1939 people are currently being treated in hospitals for the virus. Of that figure, 143 are in intensive care.